How Can Two Walk Together Except…

FFC image Couple in Agreement

I have always had a passion for marriages.  Because God honors marriage, we too should honor marriage.  Marriage is not something to be taken lightly.  It is serious business!  When two people come together and pronounce marriage vows before the Lord and before a people, immediately a lifetime covenant becomes established until death separates them.  This means that the two parties are agreeing that no matter what comes to attack or penetrate their marriage or how good or sour things may be, they will continue to walk in this covenant till death parts them.  Realistically, most times this is not going to be the case. For some, when things get tough, they easily call it quits.  But for the parties who are willing to have a successful marriage, there are certain things that you have to include. One thing is you have to find a way to walk together in agreement.  The bible states in Amos 3:3; “how can two walk together except they be agreed?”  This scripture presents an answer within a question.  It is saying that two must be in agreement in order to walk together and be successful together.  Well how can this be being that we are two separate individuals having two separate minds with two separate thoughts and ideas?  I’m glad you asked.  From the Christian perspective; we know that God must be the overall foundation of each individual’s life. Without the belief and establishment of Christ, the marriage is lost before it merely begins. One most powerful way to ensure that the two walk in agreement is to include prayer time TOGETHER.  Having your individual time with God is great.  However, the two must come TOGETHER in that their prayers will be on the same accord.  You have to know that two is better than one (eccl. 4:9) and together with Christ you can conquer all obstacles and attacks on your marriage (Eccl. 4:12 “a threefold cord is not easily broken”). If you allow God to be involved in your marriage He will help you to walk in agreement.  Matt. 18:19 tells us that if the two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing they shall ask, it shall be done for them…

Remember that one can not walk alone in the marriage and expect successful things to happen for the marriage.  I know there are a number of other things that can be used to bring on agreement, however; THIS I BELIEVE IS THE MOST IMPORTANT, and that is PRAYER TOGETHER AS ONE! I am a living witness that this is some good stuff! It actually works! So go ahead. Grab your wife’s hand and pray. Try it. It might just bring your marriage into the agreement you have been waiting for…

Will you NOTICE?

Will you NOTICE?

 

Will you NOTICE?

Have you ever seen someone at church that looked like they needed a hug BUT you didn’t give it?

Have you seen an individual sitting isolated in a pew BUT you sat a row ahead of them?

Have you noticed your neighbor sitting next to you crying BUT you didn’t give them a tissue or a shoulder to cry on?

Left hand on the bible, right hand in the air…. I have been the person crying and I have been the BUT (no pun intended). The “BUT I don’t hug just anybody” or the “BUT I wanted to sit in my seat” or the “BUT I am uncomfortable, I don’t know him or her.” You get it right? It’s the BUT excuses we use to justify our behavior in church because we are just there to worship, get a good word, and go home. I’m here to tell you the BUT person hurts! The BUT person is the inflictor of the “Nobody Noticed Hurt” (yes I just made that up J).

Probably one of the worst feelings in the world is going to church when I am at my absolute lowest point and not being noticed! I’m talking about being in utter despair because my life is pure chaos BUT nobody noticed how much pain I was in! I’m talking about, just had the week from Hell and it’s written on my face BUT nobody noticed! I’m talking about car note due but there is no money, no job, and now no gas because coming to church for some sort of sanity cost you all the gas that was left in the tank….. BUT nobody noticed!!!! I just wanted someone to notice.

SO last Sunday, I decided that I would notice. I would be the change I wanted to see in the church. I prayed to God for an opportunity to be, let’s call it, a Notice Agent. And sure enough, God answered! Here’s the story:

I was in the restroom at church and I saw a woman who was visibly emotional. I didn’t know her. I’ve never seen her before. BUT I reached both of my arms out to embrace her. She walked towards me, embraced me back, and began to sob in my arms. After her moment of silent tears, she shared her story with me. Out of respect and admiration for what she shared I won’t get into the specifics. But I will tell you, it was the best 20 minutes or more that I have ever spent in the restroom! J In that moment I felt as though God trusted me enough to use me as an expression of his love to another human being. To comfort, to listen, to speak a few words of encouragement… I was blessed to be a Notice Agent. 1 Thessalonian 5:11 states “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” God expects me and you to be a Notice Agent because he is a Notice Agent.

People are hurting. They are dying. Will you notice? People are fighting battles and overcoming insurmountable obstacles. People are warring with their spirit and confused about direction. Will you notice? They are battling with self-hatred, thoughts of self-harm, and even suicide. And yes, they know God however are so overwhelmed by the pressures and pains of life that they just want to die! Before it’s too late, will you notice?

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” -Jesus Christ, Matthew 11:28-30

#SoulSurgeon

Just because you are not having sex doesn’t mean you are not cheating!

Just because you are not having sex doesn't mean you are not cheating!

You are cheating if you are having an emotional affair! What is an emotional affair? An emotional affair is any infidelity that occurs through feeling or thought. It is considered cheating if you are having any type of intimate correspondence with someone while on your cell phone, Facebook, or email. Emotional affairs are NOT harmless. Emotional cheating involves secrecy, deception, and therefore betrayal.

In emotional cheating you are violating your spouse’s trust, making it the most painful aspect of an affair which is also the most difficult to recover from. When you are waiting to share your innermost thoughts, funny jokes, and personal experiences for that other person you are crossing the line. If you find yourself comparing this person to your spouse, and you are looking forward to your next conversation you are crossing the line. If they are kept a secret from your spouse it is a big red flag and you are crossing the line. Once you are drawn into an emotional affair you can find yourself feeling that you don’t want to stop.

It has been proven that not having sex makes the connection between the two people even more powerful because it feels genuine and romantic. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that you will not take it any further. Over half of emotional affairs start out innocently as online friendships. Over 70% of those friendships end up as real sexual affairs. Did you hear what I said? This is nothing to play with. If you are in an emotional affair end it before it is too late. Quitting cold turkey is the best way to move past an emotional affair. Also realize how this affair is hurting everyone involved.

Put yourself in the shoes of your spouse and see how you would feel if you were put in this position. In addition, take the responsibility of the lack of integrity and honesty within yourself that created this situation. Seek help from a therapist so that you can work through deeper issues that brought up the emotional affair. Stay honest with your spouse and share all of your hopes, achievements, attractions, temptations, and failures with them. Make sure to make a weekly date night a priority. Surround yourself with happily married friends and even have an accountability partner. If you want to save your marriage deal with your problems as soon as you can, and the earlier your cut of your emotional affair the better.

30-Day Sex Challenge Part III!!!

This week I want to share the 30-Day Sex Challenge that was shown on the television show, The Doctors. This challenge details a week by week of what should and should not be shared. The actual act of intercourse does not occur every day but the act of being intimate is shared daily.

The Doctors’ 30-Day Sex Challenge
Want to have the best sex of your life? Take The Doctors’ 30-Day Sex Challenge!

Week One
The goal of week one is to enjoy each other without expectation, and that means no sex! During the first week of The Doctors’ 30-Day Sex Challenge, you must refrain from all sexual contact. The only body parts that are allowed to touch for the first week are hands and feet.

“Separate in that bed and touch toes,” Dr. Walsh says. “During the day, hold hands. There will be no backrubs, no neck rubs, no genital contact.”

You also must commit to exercising three times a week. Exercise boosts endorphins and your self-confidence, which will make you and your partner feel sexy. 

“[These steps] will help build up anticipation and intimacy,” OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says. “It helps you build up that craving.”

Week Two
In week two, you have two assignments! 


First, try an adrenaline-boosting activity together — take a roller-coaster ride or go rock climbing, bungee jumping or kayaking. Studies show that increasing adrenaline boosts your libido and the bond with your partner.

Next, have sex somewhere new. Week two is meant to get you and your spouse out of the rut you may have fallen into by adding some adventure into your marriage and sex life.

Week Three
After a week of flirting and a week of adventure, it’s time to get down to business. Week three is about making a real effort to pleasure your partner. Satisfy your spouse at least three times during this week and try one new sexual position. Make sure to communicate your wants and needs, which fosters intimacy.

Week Four
Week four’s assignment is simple: Have sex every day!  

“No more excuses. It’s time to get it on,” plastic surgeon Dr. Drew Ordon says. “I’m talking a buffet. Anywhere and everywhere!”

I must say that I found this challenge very interesting. I like that it involves different ways to bond with your partner.

Your Priorities and Your Marriage

bed disagreement

According to author Tommy Nelson, in his book Better Love Now! the destruction of marriage doesn’t happen quickly.  It starts ending over a period of time, day to day, month to month.  A godly marriage is built on simple things and destroyed by simple things.  In simple terms spouses begin to make something else more important than their spouse.  Examples of those things can be time with friends, electronics, work, hobbies, etc.  He lists 8 biblical priorities that make the greatest difference in marriages:

1. Your Individual Time with God – Make it a priority everyday to pray and spend time in the word.  As a married couple your spiritual life impacts your interaction with your spouse.

Use the scale to rate how you are doing in this area:  Poorly  1  2  3  4  5  Very Well

2. Your friendship – Work everyday to be friends, make it a priority.

Use the scale to rate how you are doing in this area:  Strangers  1  2  3  4  5  Best Friends

3. Quality time together – You must be diligent and creative about your time spent together.  Don’t get caught up on the length of time, focus of the quality of time you have.  If you have kids avoid using them as an excuse for not spending time together.  Find another couple with children and alternate staying at home with the kids while the other couple goes out.  If you expand the time to an overnight stay each couple will have a night out and possibly get to wake up together without the help of their kids.

Use the scale to rate how you are doing in this area:  Almost None  1  2  3  4  5  Just Right

4. Good Sex – enough said make it a priority.  Sexuality is a gift from God.  Notice I said good sex FOR BOTH SPOUSES. If it is non existent or not good start working on it.  Read our previous post 30-Day Sex Challenge!!

Use the scale to rate how you are doing in this area:  What Sex  1  2  3  4  5  Really Good Sex

5. Direction for your marriage – Know where your marriage is heading, know what you are BOTH trying to accomplish. What vision do you and your spouse have for your marriage?

Use the scale to rate how you are doing in this area:  Sort of Aimless  1  2  3  4  5  Going with God

6. Your children – Making your children a priority DOES NOT mean your marriage should be built on the children.  Although this sounds obvious to me I’ve seen many couples struggle with differences of opinion when it comes to the priority of their kids.  People often forget that one day those kids will leave home and start families of their own.  Make them a priority not the center.

Use the scale to rate how you are doing in this area:  Not So Good  1  2  3  4  5  Just Right

7. Humility – Successful couples know how to show humility towards their spouse.  The only way to be submissive to EACH OTHER is to consider them more important than yourself. Are you trying to preserve your conceit and pride, if you have forgotten humility you are heading down the wrong road.

Use the scale to rate how you are doing in this area:  Way Too Proud  1  2  3  4  5  Living in Humility

8.  Repentance – If you make repentance a priority, you will be willing to make it right.  This happens when both spouses refuses to admit wrongdoing. If they argue in public one spouse will offer a fake apology.  The contempt  is evident in how they look at each other.  When couples lose the priority of repentance, small problems become big problems.

Use the scale to rate how you are doing in this area:  Stiff-Necked  1  2  3  4  5  Repenting Daily

Support Your Spouse with Encouragement

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Most people go in to marriage with some idea that supporting their spouse is expected. But what does this mean? How do you DO it?

Is nagging supportive? (I just want to help him reach his potential!) Is playing devil’s advocate supportive? (I just want to make sure he’s really thought this through…) Is blind faith supportive? (I’m sure investing our life savings in the stock market is fine….)

To me, supporting your spouse means being on the SAME TEAM. Nagging and playing devil’s advocate both take a contrary position, even if you claim to do it in his/her best interest against his/her will. Trust me, your spouse will not interpret this “helpfulness” as supportive.

Blind faith is also not necessarily being on the same team as your spouse because it is abdicates responsibility. If anything, it shows you don’t really care and aren’t really interested. That may not be how you feel, but it may be how it looks to others.

ENCOURAGEMENT is the way to support your spouse. Encouragement means cheering him or her on, investing your time, energy, interest, and possibly money in your spouse’s pursuits.

Sometimes this is hard. Sometimes this is scary and life changing. Sometimes it may mean altering your lifestyle or goals to take your partner’s into account.

And of course, there may be times when you truly disagree with your spouse’s goal and feel that you cannot support him or her. If this is the case, ask yourself whether THIS is the battle you want to hang your relationship on. If it is worth possibly losing your spouse over, then fine. Some things really are worth that, such as wanting to do something potentially life-threatening or family-threatening. But most things we fight about are just differences of opinion. BE MORE LOYAL TO YOUR SPOUSE THAN YOU ARE TO YOUR OPINIONS.

Here are some examples of encouragement:

A wife says she wants to start exercising. Her husband stays home with the kids in the morning while she goes jogging. He compliments her efforts.

What he DOESN’T do: Nag or guilt her when she doesn’t go. Undermine her efforts to go. Act indifferent to her progress.

A husband wants to take flying lessons to get his pilot’s license. This costs about $10k and that doesn’t even include the plane rentals later on. His wife makes it her goal as well to save up the money. She buys him airplane magazines and sends him youtube videos of cockpit cams. Listens while he talks about the bajillion dollar airplane he wants to buy someday.

What she DOESN’T do: Remind him all the time that they’ll never be able to afford it. (He already knows that.) Allow him to invest money in flying lessons on credit. Ignore his desire or belittle it.

Supporting your spouse means being his or her biggest cheerleader, in good times and in bad. It means having each other’s back even when its hard. It means sacrificing for the other person’s happiness and well being. It means making YOUR goal MY goal. It means being on the SAME TEAM in word and action.